24 November 2012

Talking Turkey

I have been trying to come up with bulk-cook meals out of the items we already have in the house. So far, I am kicking butt!

With Thanksgiving over, I picked that carcass CLEAN. The "ugly meat" (you know, the pieces that are fine to eat, but not something you want to look at on your plate) will be used in soups and pot pies.

A batch of broth was made and I'll bag most of it as is, to use as soup bases. A few I will make in to a gravy for pot pie filling, along with the turkey and veggies.

I made an open turkey pie for lunch today. They are GREAT ways to stretch the heck out of something, and the filling was made out of less than what a normal dinner would use. 

Frugal Domestic Goddess Turkey Pie
Crust (it's not a roll out crust, more of a squishy play-dough)
1 cup biscuit pre-made mix (Bisquick copycat)
1/2 cup corn grits (cornmeal)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter
~ Mix together and press in to pie pan - reserve some for topping

Whatever you have on hand, mixed with gravy
-- I used 1/4 cup mixed veggies, 1/4 cup stuffing, 1/4 cup smashed potatoes, 1/4 cup cut up turkey, 1 cup gravy

Put filling in to pie crust. Flatten out the remaining crust and use to decorate the top.

350 for 25 minutes.

17 November 2012

We WILL Make It Through This!

Well, it's happened. -- We are now part of "them"
Elvis lost his job on Friday.

The upside is, I've been planning for this day. We knew it would be happening, we just didn't know when. Six days before Thanksgiving.... . *UGH*

Because I am me, the Frugal Domestic Goddess, the Yule gifts are taken care of already. I made most of the gifts, or managed to get the lowest possible prices on things I can't create (like a certain book by a certain author Diva has fallen in love with). There may not be a lot of gifts under the tree this year, but the tree is little and the thought behind the gifts is immense.

Thanksgiving is set. I wasn't planning anything BIG, a 14 lb. turkey, stuffing, baby peas, cranberry sauce, croissants, and gravy for dinner with apple and pumpkin pies for dessert. I'm going to be stretching that turkey a lot farther than ever thought imaginable now.

Elvis and I are going to defrost and inventory the chest freezer, the pantry, the assorted "where on earth are you planning on storing THAT" places I have shoved the stockpile in to and see exactly where we stand on Sunday. I already knew where the finances stood and we will be okay. We have to be.

On Friday, when he walked in the door at 9:30am... I knew. I knew that there was no more preparing. We had to put in to practice everything I had been running scenarios on. If you could bottle the adrenaline I was running on, you could retire in luxury! Friday was all about pulling it all together, calling the insurance company, calling friends who may have some leads on jobs, calling unemployment.


Elvis busted his backside for that company for nearly 5 years. Heat, holidays, hurricanes... Blizzards, bullsnot and bassfishes (trying to keep it PG here people). According to the Unemployment rep. Elvis has to wait to talk to an adjuster in FOUR WEEKS before they will even consider his claim. That bassfish who took over the office is a corporate puppet. Nobody has been laid-off since he took over. Nope, he worded it as if he was let go because of performance. I find it odd that only the high-level/high-pay guys were suddenly "failing" and being let go. When the first was let go, we were in shock. When the second-in line was pushed out, we started to become lemeurs. We knew there was a target on his back... he had recently gotten a promotion, and with it, a raise.

So, here we sit. An unemployed family of 3, in a recession, during the holidays when jobs are already scarce.

He's put in applications to all the competitors. He is more than qualified for everything he put in for. I'm hoping that (shhhhh) calls on Monday, so impressed with his resume that they want him to start right away and offer what he was getting at the last job.

His "fall-back" job isn't looking very promising right now. In the past, they have provided the work van... they still do, but they are all taken. I doubt anyone is going to leave anytime soon. New hires have to use their own van/truck/SUV. If you remember from my other posts... Elvis drives a Yaris.

He will call them on Monday. It's not the job dreams are made of - 6 day work week, pay for own supplies, have to buy your own tools, get paid by the job but you can also get 'charged back'. No set hours, no set pay.

It may not be perfect... but it's a paycheck, whatever the amount may be.

Keep your fingers crossed that when he calls on Monday that the listing on their site is wrong and there just so happens to be one company van in the parking lot just waiting for him.

10 November 2012

Ya, I've been using sharp, pointy sticks again!

I've been working on different projects. I still have to photograph some of them for my Ravelry page. Working on and off, as my hands and time allow. 

I wouldn't be the Frugal Domestic Goddess if I went hog-wild in the yarn stores and/or paying for patterns. Some designers post pattern testing requests. I've signed up for 3 this month (hat, cowl, mittens). YES... this MONTH!
(test) hat ~ for charity

(test) cowl ~ Yule gift for my Mom
(test) mittens ~ for charity
cowl - Yule gift for my friend

WIP - a block for a baby blanket

04 August 2012

Sweltering Saturday

This is the type of day that I am happy I live in a cave-like dwelling. My ancient wall-mounted air conditioner has run more this last month than it has since it was first installed back in 1977.

Partly Sunny
RealFeel® 104°

With that... I am going back to knitting -- blah!

01 August 2012

Mock Cowl Pattern

My daughter is a non-girly girl, but she does like some flare from time to time. She also likes Selena Gomez. What could be better than a Selena-inspired cowl?

I started searching for a pattern, but no luck. I decided to come up with one of my own! It is a work in progress.

Selena in her cowl
(inspiration piece)
Cast on 252 on size 10US circulars
(RedHeart Super Saver in Cherry Red)

Row 1: Knit
Row 2 : Purl
Row 3 :  * K2tog 3 times, (YO, K1) across 6 times, K2tog 3 times *
Row 4: Purl
Repeat 1-4 until wide enough (I did 9 repeats - 36 rows)

~I placed markers after every 18th stitch to help remember where I am on the Row 3 work.

The Countdown to Yule is KILLING ME

I have been so busy with cleaning and preparing for the home-school year that I have been slacking in the knitting department...


I have everything in my queue on Ravelry. I even moved stuff over to the 2013 to-do list... but... there are things I --must-- get done this year. Things that are needed. Things I had planned on giving as part of something else. Things I thought "Oh, that's easy, I can whip that up in no time".

Well, that's what I have --no time-- !!!

Technically I have just over 4 months to get it ALL done, wrapped and mailed off if need be. 4 months! FOUR! Thank goodness I have a SMALL list of people.
See what I mean?

I have been working on a "sit-upon" for Diva. She starts Girl Scouts as a Cadette this year and I thought it was something that would come in handy for not only troop outtings but later in life as well. A “sit-upon” is a piece of waterproof material to sit on while resting, eating, or sitting around the campfire.” It's beautiful to look at and makes a nice thick, comfortable place to sit, but UGH... CABLE!

I didn't create the pattern, so credit given where credit due - pattern

If you have a Ravelry account, you can see my queue here. If you don't they are free, they just take a few days to get approved.

29 July 2012

The Sickness Continues!

I slept in today - if you can call passing out on the sofa and waking up at 11 am "sleeping in". The last thing I remember is watching an infomercial for some blender of doom. It was late, I couldn't sleep, it could have been anything really. I noticed a slip of sunlight through the curtains and thought it would be nice to make a cup of coffee for Elvis before he headed in to work this morning. Only problem with that is... he was already at work for 5 hours before I managed to stumble in to the kitchen and see the clock.

I'll tell him I thought about it... it's the thought that counts, right?

I cleaned in my sleep. No, I didn't clean the house while sleeping... my dreams were about cleaning and what I wanted to get done. As motivating as it's suppose to be, it was a little saddening when I realized that I actually have to DO them now.

My focus has been the kitchen. The wall cabinets are now shining in their "Yes, they are Ikea cabinets" white. I am going to make Elvis clean "his cabinet" because even on a step-ladder I can't reach it and I am not adventurous enough to dangle over the stove. The difference between the cleaned cabinets and that one is amazing...

Yes, I used vinegar and baking powder. I think I am addicted to it. The bubbles... THE BUBBLES!

I decided to move some appliances around. There isn't a heck of a lot that I can do because there aren't many plugs available. I have more appliances than I have room for and I need to change them around from time to time.

The coffee pot, crock pot, microwave and toaster over get the most use, so they have a permanent home in the valuable real estate known as my counter. The Kitchen-Aid is on the butcher block because it's the only other place I have a plug and it's too tall for the counter and too heavy to lift.

(well, parts of it)

The largest crock pot and coffee pot are on the small bit over the dishwasher, next to the sink. I don't know what to do with the coffee, sugar and creamer. Eventually I want to get them in to the cabinet above, but for now, they are going to stay where they. Yes, that IS an odd shaped cabinet. It's a corner unit so it's triangular. It was the only design that would give me the storage space and still allow me to have some head room. Since I am short, I had them installed at 16" instead of the usual 18". It's still too high for me, but I can get to most of the first shelf and the front of the second. The dishwasher is original, oddly it was black. I know black isn't an unusual appliance color now, but it was back in 1977 when the condo unit was built. It's on the list of things that need to be replaced. It may be old, but for now, it's working. The frugalista in me can't part with it yet.

The microwave and toaster oven are on the counter that makes the L from the one the coffee pot is on. (Pardon the crumbs in the toaster oven, I hadn't cleaned it when I took the picture) I think corners are a waste of space, especially when you are short and can't reach in to them. Originally I had the microwave sitting kitty-corner. It looked okay but it took up a lot of space and things managed to hide behind and beside it. The toaster over use to be next to the coffee pot because I was lugging the crock-pot out almost daily. There is another corner cabinet above the microwave, next to it is a double door dish cabinet and then an over the stove/vent cabinet. The stove is on the right just out of the picture. The bottom corner has a swing door and 2 wire lazy-susan racks. Next to that, cabinet at the bottom right corner of the picture is a triple drawer unit.

That's the end of the official counter space in my kitchen. I will post more pictures later and eventually a picture of the whole thing.

I know I should be thinking up some wonderful dinner for Elvis tonight because he got stuck doing mandatory over-time today (his day off) and will come home exhausted and starving from a hard days labor... but, I'm thinking pizza. I know, I know... but, I just cleaned the stove!

28 July 2012

Sign of the Apocalypse?

So... here I am again. A bit later than I had originally planned, but hey, I never claimed to be perfect. What have I been doing all this time? What's with the title you say? I've been (insert drum-roll and grab your desk) cleaning.
I told you to hold the desk, don't blame me if you tripped over your jaw and fell on your backside. The shock that I, The Domestic Goddess, spent the last few days cleaning is a shock to anyones system... especially mine.

I'm pretty sure there is something written somewhere about this being a sign of the end of times. I woke up the other day -wanting- to clean the slider. Seriously. I didn't even drink a cup of coffee until after I scared the neighbors. I was in my pajamas at the time. Epic I tell you. 

If only it stopped there... The dishes were done, the toilet was scrubbed, the kitchen sink shone so much I needed sunglasses! If it's not a sign of the Apocalypse, it's a sickness I tell you! The butcher block was cleared off and scrubed down. The fridge was cleaned, inside and out. More dishes were washed because I started taking things out of the bottom cabinet to give them another washing because I felt they got "dusty" sitting down there.  The stove was scrubbed down, the vent was cleaned and the filter replaced.

The stove, vent and cabinets are the bane of my existence. I would rather scrub a port-a-potty than deal with the fine layer of ick that seems to accumulate on those 3 things. I don't fry -ever-, I barely even pan-cook meats. I bake most things because I hate the smell of oil in the air. White cabinets, white vent, black stove. Could I have picked worse colors for a kitchen? As a whole, it looks great (from a distance)... titanium gray walls, white cabinets, black sink and appliances.

I have tried just about every product on tv, on the store shelves, online, reccommended by complete strangers when I grab them by their ankles begging for the secret to ridding myself of this greasy plague...

Sometimes the old ways are best. I am proud to say that I have conquered the beast that has overtaken my kitchen! How? As I was standing and glaring at the stove it came to me... -the solution- Well... I suppose I could tell you. Volcanoes.

Yes, volcanoes. Vinegar and baking soda. I sprayed the stove-top generously with straight white vinegar and let it sit about 15 minutes. Sprinkled some baking soda over it and stood there in amazement as this concoction began to bubble. When it finished its magic, I took a soft sponge and wiped it all up. A quick cold water wipe-up and .... (sit down, seriously... I'm not going to finish until you do....... )


Okay.... it was CLEAN! It was a bit trickier on the vent, but I sprayed it and then when it was time to add the baking soda, I put it in a small bowl, added a small bit of vinegar and turned it in to a gluey substance that I brushed on with a silicone basting brush.

That's all for today... I have a pile of clothes with my name on it... 

17 July 2012

Wow... 4 Months... REALLY???

As busy as my life has been, I felt as if something was missing. I am happy with my family, my home-life, even came to terms of my defeat by Mount Laundry... The bills are paid, the pantry is full, the closets (and baskets, and the corner of my room) are full of clothes.
-- Something was still missing. My outlet. MY BLOG!

So, with that, I bring you the months of March, April, May, June and up until today in July. Bare with me, it may take a little while.

My life so far -- in a nut shell...
March - Um, I wish I could tell you that something out of the norm happened, but other than warm weather and sunshine... nothing really.
April - Diva had school vacation. It was good to have her home during the day. It was better having a break from the daily school runs.
May - Mothers Day was great. Flowers, balloons, breakfast in bed and Diva made me a serving tray.
Diva's birthday party was what she asked for... not to have one. We did have a family dinner at a restaurant to mark the occasion though. I offered her a big party with her school friends or a bigger gift. She chose the bigger gift. Here Elvis and I were thinking she would want a flat-screen tv, or something equally electronic. Imagine our surprise when she says she wants the 3 of us to go to Kahuna Laguna? It was FANTASTIC! I could live in the wave pool. Seriously.
June - Diva graduated from the 5th grade, ending her time at the private school she had been attending for the last 2 years. You are going to have to trust me when I tell you she looked STUNNING and much MUCH older than 12 that day. I held it together until they played a video yearbook during the ceremony. I lost it. I admit it. I came prepared with 2 boxes of tissues.
Fathers Day wasn't exactly the bag-o-fun we wanted it to be for Elvis. He was working. By the time he finally got home, he was too tired to be master of his grill. Pizza it was then...
July - BUSY month!!! Our friends from PA arrived late on June 30. On July 1 we went for breakfast, did some local sight-seeing and then headed off to Shrugs to soak up the sun and lounge in the pool. It was hard for me to leave there that day. I knew it would be a week before I saw Diva again. Why? I'll tell you why... July 2, Elvis, my PA friends and I boarded the Carnival Glory for a 5 day out of Boston to Saint John, NB and Halifax NS. (I'll write another post with pictures and details tomorrow.-edit: okay, so I lied, I will get to it, eventually) July 7 is Elvis' birthday. It was also the day we got off the ship. I tried to make it special for him, but not sure how special -getting up at 5:30am to go down to declare at customs, shovel some breakfast in and run around picking up Diva, checking in to the hotel, buying some groceries - really was for him. We did try though. My friend, Diva and I headed to Salem, MA for some touristy things. We didn't stay nearly as long as I thought we would, but it was a great time all the same. My friends headed back to PA on the 9th. I cried. Yes, again. No, I don't cry at the drop of a hat!
That more or less brings us up to today. I have a HUGE secret, but I can't say anything right now... eyes are everywhere and the wrong eyes will ruin the surprise because they share face-space with a huge mouth!

04 March 2012


So, I admit... I have been glued to the nest lately. There is something so peaceful about watching the hummers go from eggs the size of tic-tacs to fledglings.


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